Just like Ford’s Fusion, the 2012 model of General Motors’ bread and butter brand, the Impala, is mostly unchanged from last year.
The model has a new 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission. The front and rear styling is slightly changed. You also get Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel as standard, while the LT loses foglights as standard but gains a rear spoiler, flip-and-fold rear seat and leather-wrapped shift knob.
The more powerful and more fuel-efficient 3.6-liter V6 engine gives you 18 city and 30 hwy mpg. Good news. This is better standard highway fuel economy than Ford Taurus.
Inside, the Impala has always had lots of room, in the front as well as the back seats. Getting in and out is easy. And it has a large trunk. Reasons why this car is so popular. But the rest is not so impressive. General Motors is struggling with a model that hasn’t changed much the last couple of years.
When it comes to safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Impala the top ranking of Good in both its frontal-offset and side-impact tests. However, roof strength and rear-end crash protection only rate as acceptable.
The Impala competes with full-size cars, such as the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, and mid-size cars, such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, but it doesn’t match its competitors.
Consumer Reports writes: Dated and unimpressive, the large Impala sedan falls short of modern standards in most key areas.
Edmunds.com says: despite a spacious cabin and comfortable ride, the 2012 Chevrolet Impala is outdone by most competitors. You can do better.